back at RNZ International's coverage of Cyclone Pam
category five cyclone pummelled the country in March last year, with
winds gusting more than 320 km/h, destroying 90 percent of the
country's food crops and leaving 75,000 people homeless.
agency CARE Australia said decimation was the "only word for
what happened in Vanuatu".
said the country's crops had not recovered, and a drought driven by
El Niño was now crippling the country.
your food garden is your lifeline, so people in Vanuatu are now
dealing with an overwhelming double crisis," CARE Vanuatu
programme manager Charlie Damon said.
UNICEF warned severe storms were becoming more frequent and more
said the Pacific had always experienced natural disasters, but global
warming and rising ocean temperatures were leading to more of them.
damage in remote parts of Vanuatu.Photo: RNZ
/ Shan O'Callaghan
Cyclone Winston hit the Pacific in February, UNICEF Pacific
representative Karen Allen said it was unprecedented to have two
category five cyclones occurring in the past year - with only 11
category five cyclones recorded south of the equator in the last 45
Allen said the implications were immense and the way buildings were
constructed needed to be re-evaluated.
need to consider everything, from the way we build homes, schools,
health facilities and other critical infrastructure such as water and
power supply, to the way that families prepare themselves, their
crops and their livelihoods."
family in the community of Nikinini - Josephine, with her children
Angelica, 12, Jacquie, nine, Jessica, one, and Bojel, eight - lost
everything in Cyclone Pam. Photo: SUPPLIED
countries needed to plan and prepare for all eventualities, including
the prospect of a direct hit by a category five cyclone, she said.
are trying to figure that out, trying to understand the enormity of
the resources that will be required.
clear that the traditional coping mechanisms, and the traditional
places that people ran to during a storm, even those, are not
sufficient," Dr Allen said.
community of Taunono was completely destroyed when Cyclone Pam
struck. Photo: SUPPLIED / Unicef
young boy kicks a ball as his father searches through the ruins of
their family home in Port Vila after Cyclone Pam. Photo: DAVE
HUNT / POOL / AFP